Is a monthly salary a harmful addiction?

I’m sure you’ve heard of Nassim Taleb. He’s written several books including “Black Swan” and “Antifragile.” Back at the end of 2014, he apparently tweeted his resolutions for 2015. You can see the full list of resolutions here.

His resolution listed as #9 is extremely interesting. This resolution is:

“Use courage and wisdom, not labor, to make money.”

I have thought a great deal about this one resolution.

Courage is defined as:
– mental or moral strength
– the ability to do something that frightens one.
– strength in the face of pain or grief
– act in accordance with one’s beliefs, especially in spite of criticism

Wisdom is defined as:
– quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment
– soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience
– body of knowledge and principles

Labor is defined as:
– work, especially hard physical work
– expenditure of physical effort
– human activity that provides the goods or services in an economy

With these definitions, we can re-write Taleb’s resolution as follows:

Use our mental strength and our knowledge/experience, not physical effort, to make money.
Use our mind, not our hands, to make money.
Think, instead of work, to make money.

Damn, this resolution is extremely challenging.

If we adopt this resolution for ourselves, we really have to stop and think about what we do and don’t do. We have to force ourselves to act differently, because anytime we use our own labor to make money, we are breaking the resolution. We’re cheating by taking the easier path to make money.

It’s A LOT easier to labor for money than it is to create money through courage and wisdom.

Let’s take this one step further…

In the quote featured in the picture at the top of this article, Taleb indicated a monthly salary is one of the top three most harmful addictions someone could have. The other two harmful addictions he included were carbohydrates and heroin. Yes, he is using a little humor, but it is easy to see he views all three as being harmful to our health.

Why would he view labor (monthly salary) as harmful to health?

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it?


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